Future of Food Pt 1

Future of Food Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The only thing that is constant these days is change, and nothing seems to be changing any faster today than the food market. We see it in everything from what people like to eat, to what they want to eat, to what they end up buying to eat on any given day is constantly changing.

I recently spoke with Mike Lee, co-founder of Alpha Food Labs, about the Future of Food and where the marketplace is headed when it comes to food choices …

LEE … “And, the future of food gets harder and harder to predict around one or two things because we are completely fragmented and tribal as a society, meaning there are more need states than there have ever have been out there than ever before.”

Lee says just talk to most of the big food companies out there …

LEE … “They’ve lost billions of dollars of market share over the past six years to smaller companies who can kind of find a good sized food tribe that maybe somebody used to call niche before, but actually built a business off of that and say, I’m not going to try to be everything to everyone. I’m just going to please this group of people because I understand them really well.”

Like everything else, Lee says the digital age is changing the way we do everything…

LEE … “My advice to growers is, you know, pick the thing in the community that you think you can service the best. How can you give a ten out of ten experience to a small group of people, not a four out of ten experience to everybody, because the difference is these smaller groups have much more power than they used to both in power and in influence.”

Lee says 21st Century eaters demand foods that fulfill needs at the intersection of health, sustainability, and flavor experience.

Listen tomorrow for more on the Future of Food.


BL: Welcome back to another “Fruit Bites” brought to you by Valent U.S.A. Joining us again is Valent’s Allison Walston. And this week Allison, we want to promote beneficial insects into your orchard systems?

AW: Well, first, ask yourself if you’re willing to let the beneficial insects have some food. That means allowing pest populations to be present or having alternative food sources nearby. Allow some pear psylla to keep Deraeocoris around. Plant rose bushes nearby to encourage leafroller parasitoids. Keep apple rust mites for a western predatory mite snack. Some growers even release green lacewings in their orchards.

BL: Okay, so, trying to keep prey for the predators to eat. What else?

AW: Next, consider the impact of broad-spectrum insecticides (both organic and conventional) and avoid using in the middle of summer when predators are at their peak. Local spray guides have impact ratings on beneficial insects. Plan a pest management program somewhere in the middle of total desert to dripping mess. It might take a couple of years to reach an equilibrium.

BL: Well, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I’m Bob Larson.

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